Tag Archives: Gospel of John

“Encountering Jesus: On the Beach (in the Ordinary)” (May 19, 2019)

from John 21:1-17

Have you ever stopped to consider how our entertainment, experience, pursuit-of-satisfaction driven culture affects our expectations of what encountering the Lord ought to look like…ought to feel like?

While there are certainly times when an encounter with God evokes a physical and emotional response…while there are times when those encounters are fantastical…what about those times seeks to encounter us in the ordinary…in the familiar?

What if you began to look for God in the familiar? In the every day? Imagine how things might begin to be different…how different following Jesus might begin to look.

w/ Vern Collins

“Encountering Jesus: Behind Locked Doors” (May 12, 2019)

from John 20:24-29

Have you ever considered what the “locked doors” in your life might be when it comes to encountering Jesus? What are those things (either of your own making or as a result of your circumstances) that feel like a barrier between you and God? Those things that keep you from experiencing the power of the resurrection?

Have you ever considered that Jesus is willing to walk right in to that space…right in to your fear and your doubt and your disappointment…and once again, offer all of Who He is to you?

What if that were true? What if there was no amount of hiding that could keep Jesus away? Imagine the possibility.

w/ Vern Collins

“Sent” (March 3, 2019)

from John 20:19-22

From hearing from some of our missionaries, to a powerful message on Jesus’ commission of His disciples from John’s Gospel, to an important invitation following our denomination’s called General Conference vote, this is a powerful Sunday.

Even in the midst of our every day, busy, running from here to there lives…even in the midst of our doubt and our hurt and our own woundedness, we are invited to remember that Jesus not only walks into that with us, but calls us to follow Him in becoming partners in His work of healing brokenness and redeeming this world.

w/ Laura Byrch, Mason Heistand, Caitlin McVay, and Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Broken Already (Jesus Knows)” (January 13, 2019)

from Ephesians 1:5-10 and John 4:1-18

Many of us see the turn of the calendar year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to make some changes, to improve some things about who we are. We enter a new year with a sense of hope and possibility.

What happens when we fall short of those things we want to see change?

What happens when this seems to be the pattern not only in our resolutions and goals, but more importantly in our walk with Jesus? How do you navigate the feeling of falling short once again? Is there guilt? Shame? Weariness? How does it affect your relationship with God? With others?

How might things begin to look different if you approached those disappointments with the understanding that…Jesus knows…and loves you anyway?

w/ Vern Collins

“What Kind of King?” (November 25, 2018)

from John 18:33-37

Who or what are the little kings you have set up on the thrones of your life to serve and protect the kingdoms of your desires, your pursuits, your opinions, your comfort or your convenience?  How are those little kings serving you?  Have they proven weak yet?

What happens when your little kings and kingdoms begin to collide with the kings and kingdoms of those around you?  We tend to live in this perpetual state of conflict with the world around us and feelings of being unfulfilled with our own life.  Surely this can’t be all that Jesus had in mind.

What if instead of fighting against the reign of Christ in your life, you lived a life submitted to Jesus as King.  What if by losing yourself you found what life is meant to be?

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Forgiveness” (October 28, 2018)

from John 8:1-11

Often times we can know that God loves us and calls us to love those around us…to be LIKE JESUS to the world around us.  We can know that God loves us so much that He gave His Son as a payment for our sin.

If we know those things, what keeps us from feeling like we are living the new life that Jesus promises?  Why do we feel “stuck” somewhere between where we were and where God is calling us?  For many of us, it can be boiled down to one word: FORGIVENESS.

Too many of us carry the stones of condemnation or anger or frustration or hurt around, hindering our walk in the freedom of grace that God offers us in Jesus.  Maybe it’s our inability to forgive someone who has hurt us, or maybe it’s our inability to forgive ourselves…regardless, the invitation is to out those stones down and walk in freedom!

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Jesus Did Many Other Things” (August 19, 2018)

from John 21:15-25

John ends his Gospel with this curious last sentence: “Jesus did many other things as well.  If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

What is it that makes, “many other things,” possible?  Work harder?  Delegate more?  Accomplish more?  Sleepless nights?  Saying, “yes,” anytime you are asked to do something?  Sure, these are all possible elements to accomplishing many other things, but what if it begins by saying, “yes,” to a meal?  What if it begins by saying, “yes,” to relationship with Jesus?

And what if we allow Jesus to take us deeper?  What if we allow Jesus to ask more, rather than to work so hard to become what the world is suggesting we ought to be?

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

“Summer Reading-John: Revelation in the Routine” (August 12, 2018)

from John 21:1-14

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to you?  There is no denying that it is the the pivotal event on which the faith of Christians for generations continues to be built…it is the hope on which the church stands, and we mark it each year when we celebrate the resurrection at Easter.

But too often, we think of the resurrection as just that-an event.  Something that happened.  Something that can be marked at a point in time and is completed.  When we view the resurrection as simply an event, however, it becomes difficult to live in the hope that is made possible through it.

What if the resurrection is so much more than an event?  What if the resurrection is an eternal reality with significant implications in your every day life?

What if Jesus, truly does meet us in the routine with new revelation of Who He is?

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Priority in Prayer” (August 5, 2018)

from John 17

In a life spent trying to follow Jesus well, we know that prayer should be a priority.  Why is it, then, that something that is so vital to our connection with God often seems to difficult to grasp?  Am I praying correctly?  Am I asking God for the right things?  Are my prayers too small?  How can I “pray without ceasing” when I can’t remember to give thanks for a meal?

What if part of the issue is not that prayer isn’t enough of a priority, but what the priority of our prayer is?  In John 17, we find that Jesus gives an example of prayer that might just change our perspective on what a life of following Him could look like.

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: I Am The Vine” (July 29, 2018)

from John 15:1-17

What is your life oriented around?

There is a saying often used in the business world that states, “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results  they are now getting.  If we want different results, we must change the way we do things.”

While your life is not an organization or a system, the same truth is applicable.  If Jesus says that we are to bear fruit for His Kingdom, it begs the question: what kind of fruit are you bearing?

What if our primary focus isn’t the fruit, but what our lives are rooted in?

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: I Am the Resurrection and the Life” (July 8, 2018)

from John 11:1-44

To be sure, the raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of Jesus’ most spectacular displays of power over the course of His ministry.  But for those who are familiar with the story, is it possible that we allow the miracle to overshadow the proclamation made by Jesus when He states, “I Am the resurrection and the life?”

Certainly there are tombs we need to be called out of, but in making this statement, what is Jesus speaking in to our present…what is Jesus speaking into all of our “IF ONLY” statements?

w/ Vern Collins

“Sumer Reading-John: I Am the Light of the World” (June 24, 2018)

from John 8:12-20

Imagine what could change about the way your life and the world around you if you lived into the truth, that while things may seem dark now…the promise is that darkness not only will not endure, but has been swallowed up in Light!

w/ Jeff McClain

“Summer Reading-John: The Bread of Life” (June 17, 2018)

from John 6:35-59

“Desire” is not a word we use often in the church…somehow it has come to mean something bad…after all, isn’t it our desires that lead to sin…that lead to choosing things that are less than what God wants for us?

In our passage this week, Jesus isn’t challenging the crowd on having desire, rather calling them to consider that perhaps their desire is simply misplaced.

We spend a great deal of time and energy trying to satisfy our need to be fulfilled with things that at the least will only leave us hungry for more, and at worst will steal life from us…but what if we could find our desires fulfilled in something or Someone Who will not only satisfy us, but give us life?

“Come and eat and be filled…”

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Nicodemus” (June 3, 2018)

from John 3:1-18

Have you considered what coming face to face with the Good News of the Gospel of Christ might truly mean for your life?

It has the power to shape the way you view your life, understand your purpose.  It has the power to change the way you view others.  It has the power to define who you are.

In this, Pastor David Hockett’s last Sunday with us, he proclaims a powerful, hopeful, and inviting message that is at the core of who we are invited to be as individuals, and who we are called to be as the church.

w/ David Hockett

“Summer Reading-John: Prologue” (May 27, 2018)

from John 1:1-18

Do you ever stop to think of the power of your words?  Words have the power to create, and they have the power to destroy.  Words have the power to uplift and they have the power to tear down, to heal and to wound…

As we begin our “Summer Reading” series through the Gospel of John, we are invited to encounter the power of One Word in particular…the fullness of the wisdom, and knowledge, and purpose, and creativity of God wrapped up in the flesh…Jesus.

What does it mean that this Word was spoken into the darkness?  What does it mean that this Word is spoken into YOUR darkness?

w/ Vern

“What You Believe” (April 8, 2018)

from John 20:19-31

What you believe determines how you live.  How you respond in a given situation is dictated by the set of beliefs upon which you’ve built your life.

What you believe about love determines who you are in a relationship.  What you believe about time determines how you use the time you have.

The same is true for what you believe about Who Jesus is…it impacts everything about how you live your life.

If Who you believe Jesus to be determines how you live, then what you have experienced in your walk with Jesus determines what you are living for.

w/ Vern Collins

Easter “Hope Beyond Fridays” (April 1, 2018)

from John 20:1-18

We have a great tendency to hope for things that will not last.  Sure, like the end of the week, they may bring relief or rest for a brief period of time, but ultimately they are as fleeting as Fridays.

What if, instead of hoping for temporary newness, and the wrong kind of resurrection…you dare to believe that Jesus brings lasting hope and a new life that will not spoil or fade?

Imagine the possibility.

Jesus is RISEN!

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Peace” (October 1, 2017)

from John 14:22-31

What keeps you awake at night?  What makes you nervous or anxious?  Is it a relationship, concern for a loved one?  Is it the state of the world right now, or our country?

How do you navigate that anxiety or unrest?  Where do you turn?  Do you just hope to survive it, or are you willing to believe that God is present in it?  Imagine how things might begin to change if you believed that not only was God present in your worry, but offers you peace in the midst of it.

w/ Vern Collins

“You Asked For It: How Do I Interact With the World?” (September 11, 2016)

from Matthew 5:13-16

ou’ve likely heard that Christians should be, “in the world, but not of the world.”  This saying comes from something Jesus says in the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel as he is praying to His Heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples.  While this saying is not incorrect, too often we have a tendency to view it as the finish line when in reality, Jesus meant for it to be the starting point.

What if you began to think of being set apart as having purpose, rather than thinking about it as simply being sequestered from the rest of the world?  Imagine what your life, leveraged in every situation for the sake of the Gospel, might begin to look like!

w/ Vern Collins

“You Asked For It: How Do I Deal With Fear?” (September 4, 2016)

from 1 John 4:7-21

There is plenty to be afraid of in our world today…perhaps it is the headlines recounting terrorist attacks, or it is racially driven hate crimes in our own communities…regardless, it seems that the world is more on edge than ever before.

And if those aren’t the things you are afraid of, then perhaps it’s the recent report from a doctor visit or worry about the future, or concern over the lives of your children…or maybe you’re just afraid of spiders…

While fear is not always a bad thing (it can keep us safe in some instances), at times it can feel crippling, and yet we are told in John’s letter that perfect love drives out fear.  This can feel like a trite Christian pat on the back that doesn’t really address what you may be dealing with.

What if John is not saying, DON’T have fear, instead suggesting that once you come face to face with the depths of God’s love for you, there is simply no longer room for fear to take up residence in your life?  Perhaps your outlook would change, and your desire for others to know the same freedom would move you to share that love with those around you…

w/ Vern Collins